Biopsychology- Localisation of function in the brain

  • Created by: odavid601
  • Created on: 10-06-19 05:10
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  • Localisation of function in the brain
    • Localisation
      • Theory suggests that certain areas of the brain are responsible for certain processes, behaviours and activities
    • Motor & Somatosensory Area
      • The Motor Area
        • Back of the forntal lobe
        • Involved in regulating and coordinating voluntary movements
        • Damage may result to inability to control fine motor neurons
        • Separated from the auditory area by the central suclus
      • Somatosensory Area
        • Front of parietal lobe
        • Processes information associated with the senses e.g. touch, heat, pressure etc. 
        • The amount of somatosensory area devoted to a particular body part denotes its sensitivity
    • Visual & Auditory Centres
      • Visual Centre
        • Found in the occipital lobe
        • Processes visual information
        • Each eye sends info from the right visual field to the left visual cortex and from the left visual field to the right visual cortex
          • So damage in left hemisphere can produce blindness in the right visual field of both eyes
      • Auditory Centre
        • Found in the Temporal Lobe on the superior temporal gyrus
        • Responsible for processing auditory information and speech
        • The more extensive the damage the more serious the hearing loss
    • Language Centres
      • Broca's Area
        • Left frontal lobe
        • Damage= Broca's aphasia- slow and laborious speech and lacks in fluency
          • Difficulty with prepositions and conjunctions
      • Wernicke's Area
        • Front temporal lobe
        • Damage= can produce language but have problems understanding it
          • Produce fluent but meaningless speech
        • Wernicke's aphasia- produce neologisms as part of the content of their speech
    • Evaluations
      • Equipotentiality theory argues that although basic brain functions such as the motor area and sensory functions are controlled by localised brain areas, higher cognitive functions (problem solving and decision making) are not localised
        • Research has found that damage to brains can result in other areas of the brain taking over control of functions that were previously controlled by the part of the brain that has been damaged
          • Therefore the severity of brain damage is determined by the amount of damage to the brain rather than particular area which has been damaged
      • Supporting Case Studies = Phineas Gage was injured by a blasting rod which intersected the left side of his face, tearing through his prefrontal cortex. “The damage involved both left and right  prefrontal cortices this caused him to become rude and quick-tempered from a calm and reserved man
        • Such case studies, particularly those showing marked differences after trauma, demonstrate the idea that some areas of the brain are responsible for specific functions.   
          • However, with the use of case studies, the subjectivity of the conclusions drawn and the unusual sample, alongside a lack of control over confounding and extraneous variables, must also be considered
      • Supporting evidence for localisation of brain function = Tulving et al demonstrated, using PET scans, that semantic memories were recalled from the left prefrontal cortex, whilst episodic memories were recalled from the right prefrontal cortex. 
        • This shows that different areas of the brain are responsible for different functions, as predicted by localisation theory. This idea was further supported by Peterson et al, who found that Wernicke’s area activation is required for listening tasks, whereas Broca’s area is required for reading tasks.
          • This confirms the idea that Wernicke’s area is involved in speech comprehension, whilst Wernicke’s area is responsible for language production


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